The Accidental Creative



The Accidental Creative podcast shares how to build practical, everyday practices that help you stay prolific, brilliant and healthy in life and work. Host Todd Henry (author of the books The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, and Louder Than Words) interviews artists, authors and business leaders, and offers tips for how to thrive in life and work. Listen in and join the conversation at


  • 3 Simple Mistakes That Limit Your Ideas

    30/01/2023 Duración: 13min

    There are many things a good leader or collaborator does to help their team gain focus, stay motivated, and produce great work. However, there are also some very common mistakes that many leaders make that they don't even know are killing their team's ability to engage with their work. This is especially true when doing creative work, because it requires tremendous trust and an ability to take risks that could be costly to correct later.The better you are at setting good rails for your team, the more they will feel freedom to bring their best ideas and work to the table.Failing to define the (actual) problemJudging an idea on its presentation, not its meritsDoing everything in groupsI hope you enjoy the episode. Please let me know your thoughts. Mentioned in this episode:Please support our sponsor:The new book Finding The Way is available now wherever books are sold.

  • Closing Doors

    23/01/2023 Duración: 11min

    I don’t like to say “no.” I think it’s partly because I tend to gravitate toward possibility rather than pragmatics. But that tendency to always look for new solutions has at times significantly hamstrung my creative process and has, in the past, seriously affected my ability to creatively lead teams.One of the most important disciplines that any of us can learn, especially if we create for a living, is to close doors. “What if?” is a fantastic question to ask early in the process, and can even help clarify our work as we progress through a project, but as we enter the middle and later stages of our work we must be disciplined enough to close doors on decisions that have already been made.The unfortunate result of not closing doors is that we can (1) be in perpetual brainstorm mode and unable to complete great work, (2) be constantly second-guessing past decisions and trying to correct perceived (or feared) mistakes or (3) be confusing in our articulation of creative strategy to our team or co-workers.It

  • Seeking Simplicity in 2023

    16/01/2023 Duración: 24min

    Complexity can creep into your life and process largely unnoticed. Before long, you are attempting to leap hurdles and navigate around pointlessly complex obstacles just in order to do your work. On this episode, we discuss a few areas where you can seek simplicity in 2023 and some strategies for doing so:Your process and workflowYour relationships and leadershipYour space and toolsSeek simplicity on the other side of complexity.Mentioned in this episode:Please support our sponsors:Plan your day with Sunsama. Visit to start your free trial. SunsamaPlease support our sponsor:The new book Finding The Way is available now wherever books are sold.

  • Managing Expectations (For Yourself and Your Team)

    09/01/2023 Duración: 22min

    So much conflict and stress in organizational life, or just in life in general, is the result of missed or conflicting expectations. Sometimes, this is because expectations are not clearly articulated and there is a vacuum that needs to be filled. Everyone is living out their own assumptions, which means that “ghost rules”, or invisible and possibly unfounded narratives, emerge. Team members may resent one another and be completely unable to articulate why. It’s just some deep sense that they are being robbed in some capacity. In reality, it’s just that there are unmet expectations that may have never even been spoken. These unmet expectations aren’t limited to team life. They can also affect you personally. Today, I want to discuss a few ways in which our expectations can impact us heading into 2023 and how we can act to reduce miscommunication and misunderstandings for ourselves, our co-workers, and the teams that we lead. Mentioned in this episode:Please support our sponsor:The new book Finding The Way is

  • Writing and Sketching For Ideas

    02/01/2023 Duración: 35min

    You probably need new ideas consistently in order to do your job. Where do they come from? If you're like many people, you push pixels, midlessly scroll, or stare at the problem or just hope that you have a breakthrough before time runs out. What if there's a better way?On this episode, I share a technique I use called "nonsense notebooks". I use freewriting and review to connect patterns that I often miss because I'm simply too busy.Then, I interview Mike Rohde on the 10th anniversary of his book The Sketchnote Handbook to discuss how sketching ideas can lead to breakthroughs, even if you're not an artist. Mentioned in this episode:This episode is sponsored by ShopifyIt's your turn to get serious about selling and try Shopify today. Visit for your $1/month trial today.

  • Part Three: 2023 In Preview

    30/12/2022 Duración: 09min

    Download a packet to help you answer all twelve questions in this series at you don't set markers for growth you will drift. How will you be different this time next year? In this final episode of our three part series, I offer up four questions to ask as you make plans for the coming year.

  • Part Two: 2022 In Review

    28/12/2022 Duración: 09min

    Download the packet to help you follow along with these questions at "The unexamined life is not worth living" is a saying attributed to Socrates. If you fail to understand why things happened the way they did, you are doomed to drift.In this episode, I offer four questions to ask as you look back at the past year that will help you understand what happened and why and will also help you as you make plans for 2023.

  • Part One: 4 Questions For 2023

    26/12/2022 Duración: 15min

    To get a worksheet for this mini-series, visit's the time when many people begin to make plans for the coming year. However, just setting big, indiscriminate goals without first assessing how things currently are is a recipe for failure.This week, I'm releasing three shorter episodes to help you prepare for 2023. In today's episode, I offer up four questions to help you self-assess and develop self-awareness with regard to your ambitions and current situation. Over the next two mini-episodes, I'll share eight additional questions to help you plan for the coming year.Make sure you follow the show in order to get each episode as it's released.

  • The Way Of Integrity (with Dr. Martha Beck)

    19/12/2022 Duración: 35min

    In aerodynamics, when an airplane has structural integrity it means that all of the parts are working together as a whole. It is intact. If there is a violation of that structural integrity, you are likely to experience a problem.Similarly, integrity in our lives and leadership means that all of our individual parts are integrated, or intact and whole. What is on the inside is what's on the outside. Integrity is critical both for effective leadership and for valuable creativity. Your intuition functions best when you are intact.Today's guest, Dr. Martha Beck, is a NY Times Best-selling author of many books. She holds three Harvard degrees in social science, and Oprah Winfrey has called her "one of the smartest women I know." Her newest book is called The Way Of Integrity, and on this episode we discuss how the pursuit of integrity affects life, leadership, and your body of work. Mentioned in this episode:Please support our sponsorsShopify: Go on, try Shopify for free and start selling anywhere. Visit shopify.

  • Choose Brave: My Talk From STORY 2022

    12/12/2022 Duración: 33min

    In order to confront uncertainty every day, creative pros need to muster the ability to be clear even when they are not positive their idea is the right one. This requires bravery, because creative risk means the potential of failure. How do we as pros, as leaders, and as organizations foster an environment within which bravery is likely to occur? In this recording from my STORY Conference talk, I share a few qualities that lead to creative courage and a few tactical things we can do to ensure we are positioned to act in the face of our doubts.At the beginning of the episode, I also share some strategies for tackling your 2023 goals with more precision.Mentioned in this episode:Please support our sponsor:The new book Finding The Way is available now wherever books are sold. Please Support Our SponsorsUncommon Goods: To get 15% off your next gift, go to uncommon Nordpass Business: See Nordpass Business in action now with a three month free trial at with code accide

  • Q&A Spectacular!

    05/12/2022 Duración: 45min

    On this episode, I answer several questions sent in by listeners.Want to ask a question? If we use it I'll send you a Daily Creative t-shirt. Ask your questionHere's what we cover on today's episode:How do teams better take into account the execution of an idea at the moment when that idea is being selected?What principles from my books should teachers (or parents of children) focus on implementing with kids? What year-end rituals do I recommend for prepping for a great new year?Are generalists and specialists both valuable in the workplace? What should you do when you're thinking about giving up on a project or idea?How do you motivate people who aren't being paid for the work they do, but you still need to lead them?A few resources mentioned in this episode: My 2023 4 Questions guideEmily Wapnick's talk on MultipotentialitesRange (book)The Dip (book)Austin Kleon's 100 Things postReadwiseAlso, my new book Daily Creative is available now.[convertkit_form form="2864456"]Mentioned in this episode:Bambee: With

  • Real Creative Leadership (with Adam Morgan)

    28/11/2022 Duración: 35min

    What does it take to lead talented, creative people effectively? This is an important question to all of us because either (a) we are in the position where we have to lead others every day and what they need from us is often a mystery, or (b) we are being led by someone and we really REALLY wish they understood us better.As you may know, I wrote a book about this topic a few years ago called Herding Tigers. My ambition in writing that book was to be as direct and practical as I possibly could be about the realities of creative leadership. I dislike theory and I crave practical wisdom.That’s why I invited today’s guest on the show - there are few people with more practical creative leadership experience than Adam Morgan. Adam is an Executive Creative Director at Adobe, with experience in creativity, strategy, and storytelling for 24 years. In 2020, AdWeek named him one of the “Creative 100”—the top inspiring creative minds in marketing, media, and culture—in the world. He’s the author of the book, “Sorry Spock

  • Essay: Legacy vs. Tombstone

    24/11/2022 Duración: 09min

    I was nine years old when my grandfather died. I still remember the funeral, not really understanding exactly what was happening, but knowing that I wasn’t going to get the chance ever again to throw football with, watch cartoons with, or make something cool with him ever again. Ever. That’s a tough concept for a nine year old to grasp.After the funeral, we all filed to our cars for the procession to the cemetery. It seemed like we were barely creeping along, through our small town, around a corner, and up a hill to make our way out to the small country church where he was to be buried. As we turned the corner I saw – in the distance – some curious activity on the side of the road. It looked like a crowd had gathered to watch a parade, but it wasn’t a holiday. At the time it seemed like hundreds of people, though I now realize it was probably more like a few dozen. As we neared the crowd, my parents had difficulty containing their emotion. I noticed that many of the people gathered on the side of the roa

  • Time, Tranquility, and Effectiveness (with Laura Vanderkam)

    21/11/2022 Duración: 41min

    Time is the currency of productivity. How we spend it is - in effect - how we spend our lives. But often we can allow time to simply slip through our fingers and find that no matter how hard we may work, it feels like we’re simply falling behind. It’s almost like we’re running on a treadmill that someone occasionally comes and moves slightly closer to our objectives, but we never seem to arrive.Today’s show is all about leveraging time effectively. In the first part, I’m going to share why some common advice we hear is not entirely accurate.In today’s interview, we have return guest and best-selling author Laura Vanderkam. Laura’s work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, City Journal, Fortune, and Fast Company. Her new book is called Tranquility by Tuesday: 9 Ways to Calm the Chaos and Make Time for What Matters, and it offers specific strategies for carving space for what’s most important. Mentioned in this episode:Please Support Our SponsorsAth

  • Ideas, Armpits, and Founding Grubhub (with Mike Evans)

    14/11/2022 Duración: 30min

    Some of the most effective ideas are those that solve a problem you are personally experiencing. If you have a need, it’s likely others have the same need as well. But often, we gloss over those moments of insight because it seems too daunting to act, or maybe we assume that someone else is probably working on it anyway.But, what if they’re not? What if your idea is truly an opportunity, if you’re willing to do something about it?Today’s guest didn’t just let his idea sit on a shelf. Instead, he acted and founded a company that has now grown into a multi-billion dollar company. His name is Mike Evans, and on today’s show he shares how an unfortunate encounter with an armpit on a bus ride home from work turned into the motivation to found the company Grubhub. Mike’s new book about his entrepreneurial journey is called Hangry, and is available now. Mentioned in this episode:Decko: GetDecko.comPlease support our sponsorsUncommon Goods:

  • The Only Business Metric That Matters (with Jeremy Utley)

    07/11/2022 Duración: 32min

    If you were to choose just one metric by which to measure your success, what would it be?Revenue? Well, we all know that revenue can be a tricky KPI because it doesn’t say anything about profitability. If I make a million dollars while spending two million, it doesn’t really mean much.Product shipped? Again, this doesn’t speak to the efficiency of my operation.Today’s guest argues that for any organization, there’s only one metric that truly matters. It’s what he calls Idea Flow. His name is Jeremy Utley. As the Director of Executive Education at Stanford's renowned, his courses have been experienced by nearly a million students of innovation worldwide. On today’s show, he shares why Idea Flow is the one thing you should be paying attention to in your organization. Mentioned in this episode:Please Support This Episode's Sponsors:Indeed: Athletic Greens: Decko:

  • Building A Second Brain (with Tiago Forte)

    24/10/2022 Duración: 31min

    The stats on the amount of information we encounter each day are staggering. And, the effects on adult humans are substantial. Researchers estimate that the adult attention span has decreased by about 12 minutes in the past decade. You have an average of 70,000 thoughts in a day. According to research cited in an article in Fast Company, in 2011 Americans took in five times as much information every day as they did in 1986—the equivalent of 174 newspapers. So, it’s no wonder that those of us who have to synthesize all of that and turn it into something valuable for our clients or organization might feel a little… overwhelmed. How could we possibly begin to organize all of that data? Today’s guest will help us begin to do that. His name is (Tiago Forte) and he’s the author of the best-selling book Building a Second Brain. On today’s show, we discuss a practical way to collect, organize, and share information in a way that allows us to retain our sanity and become more effectiv

  • Mick Jagger Was Wrong and The Laws Of Creativity (with Joey Cofone)

    17/10/2022 Duración: 32min

    Everyone can see success coming well in advance, right? Of course not. When you're in the fray, you're often just trying to hold things together and get through this project, this week, or this year. It's only in retrospect that success seems inevitable. On today's episode, I share an essay from the Leader List (sign up for free!) about Mick Jagger's assessment of the future success of the Rolling Stones and how it relates to our own creative work and leadership. Then, we have a fascinating conversation with Joey Cofone, founder of Baron Fig and author of the new book (The Laws of Creativity). My new book (Daily Creative) is available now wherever books are sold. Mentioned in this episode: This episode is sponsored by Indeed. Visit

  • Decoding The Future (with Mitch Joel)

    10/10/2022 Duración: 35min

    We have heard the phrase "back to normal" often over the past year. But, is there really any such thing as normal? Now that we have had a taste of virtual and hybrid work, will we ever return to the way things were pre-2020? Today's guest is Mitch Joel. He's the author of several books, the host of the (Six Pixels of Separation) podcast, and an acclaimed thought leader on the future of work. On this episode, we discuss where we have been, where we are, and what the future might hold for creative pros as we try to reconcile remote work with all of its possible tradeoffs. My book (Daily Creative) is available now wherever books are sold. Mentioned in this episode: Please support our sponsors Athletic Greens: Visit Skillshare: Visit

  • Free Time (with Jenny Blake)

    03/10/2022 Duración: 33min

    How you manage your time is often a key indicator of your success or failure. However, many of us think about time in terms of efficiency rather than effectiveness. What if a slight tweak in how we think about our time might be all we need in order to drastically improve our productivity and our sense of well-being? Today's guest is Jenny Blake. Her new book Free Time offers strategies for leveraging time for deeper productivity, a better sense of purpose and flow, and a healthier overall life. Learn more about Jenny at My book (Daily Creative) is available now wherever books are sold. Mentioned in this episode: This episode is sponsored by Bambee. Visit and type "Accidental" in the where did you hear from us section. This episode is sponsored by Indeed. Visit to start hiring today.

página 1 de 15